Case Brief - R. v. Hufsky

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Title: R. v. Hufsky, [1988] 1 S.C.R 621

Parties: Werner E. J. Hufsky – Appellant v. Her Majesty The Queen - Respondent

Decision: Appeal was dismissed

Notions/Concepts:

Constitutional Law
Criminal Law
Equality before the law
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Arbitrary detention
Unreasonable Search
Refusal to provide breath sample

Facts:

Appellant was stopped at a random spot check by police
Nothing unusual about his driving at the time of the spot check
Spot check was for the purposes of checking licenses, insurance, mechanical fitness of cars sobriety of the drivers.
Officer could smell odor of alcohol on the appellant’s breath
Officer demanded a breath sample for a roadside breathalyzer test
Appellant refused, and was informed by the officer he was being charged with regusal to provide a breath sample, and informed him of his rights
The appellant was found guilty in provincial court for refusing to comply with the officer’s demand S. 234.1 (2)
Both the county court and court of appeal upheld the verdict

Issue:

The issue at hand with this case is whether S. 234.1 (2) of the criminal code infringed on the Canadian Bill of Rights & whether the random stopping of motor vehicles by poilice infringed on S. 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Laws:

Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Highway Traffic Act
Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act

Analysis:

This case was brought before the Supreme Court of Canada, after a failed appeal in the Court of Appeal, issues concerning whether the non-universal proclamation of S. 234.1 of the Criminal Code infringed on the right to equality before the law, as outlined in S. 1 (b) of the Bill of Rights, the second issue raised in the lower courts was whether the random stopping of cars by police officers infringed on the right not to be arbitrarily detained described by S. 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and another major issue raised in the lower courts was whether Mr. Hufsky’s rights were infringed upon

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